We've all encountered chatty private-hire drivers at least once. Some of us are okay with it, others not.
One TikTok user recently urged everyone to "speak up and tell them (the driver) if the chat is getting uncomfortable" after their father was permanently banned from Grab due to a conversation he had with a passenger.
The driver's child shared about the incident on an anonymous TikTok account last Wednesday (July 27). The video has since racked up 350,100 views and 25,000 likes.
According to the video, the driver received a call from Grab staff who asked if he recalled a passenger being uncomfortable during a recent ride with him, to which he responded with a no as he "didn't recall any unhappiness expressed by any passenger".
Shortly after this, the man was allegedly locked out of his Grab account and received an email from the ride-hailing company.
In the email, Grab stated that he was permanently banned for displaying inappropriate behaviours during a ride such as commenting on the passenger's physical appearance and asking overly personal questions that were unrelated to the booking.
"He was banned indefinitely from Grab with just an email," the TikTok user wrote, adding that their father could not find voice evidence to prove that he was unaware of the passenger's unhappiness as the dashcam footage had already been refreshed by then.
Grab's email also mentioned that the driver could submit an appeal if he believed he was "wrongly banned". He did so immediately but his appeal was allegedly rejected without a reason.
"Ultimately, I am just making a living as a driver with no malicious intention, I do not wish to offend any riders. I have always treasured being a partner of Grab and I apologise for any issue caused for the team or this rider. This will not occur again," said the driver in the appeal.
The driver's child shared that their father had been working with Grab for nearly a decade and had an average rating of 4.9 over 5 stars.
The video ended with the child urging passengers to speak up when they feel that a conversation with a driver is getting uncomfortable: "They would stop. My dad would. Just a simple complaint has caused my dad a lot of sadness, disappointment and cost him his livelihood."
Netizens divided on driver's plight
Netizens in the comments section expressed their sympathy towards the driver. Some urged Grab to provide an explanation for the ban and do a thorough investigation, while others offered to help him find a new job.
Some netizens who worked with Grab also shared that they faced similar difficulties.
On the other hand, there were netizens who disagreed with what the Grab driver's child said in the TikTok video.
"Clearly you don't understand how scary it can be for a woman to be in a Grab," one wrote.
Inappropriate behaviour not tolerated: Grab
In response to AsiaOne's queries, a Grab spokesperson shared: "Grab does not tolerate any kind of inappropriate behaviour that goes against our code of conduct. Driver-partners and passengers found to display errant behaviour after investigation will be suspended or banned from the platform.
"Ensuring that all who use our platform feel safe and comfortable is very important to us, and we urge everyone to treat one another with respect."
AsiaOne understands that the driver was banned following a thorough investigation.
In November 2020, a GrabHitch driver was suspended after sending anti-LGBTQ texts to a passenger who had a profile photo banner in support of the Ready 4 Repeal movement.
However, the driver insisted that his messages were not abusive.
After he met with Grab personnel, the company agreed to reactivate his account. But it decided not to proceed with the reactivation after the driver made an untrue statement claiming Grab "agreed that political slogans should not appear on any photos".